Skip to main content

tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  August 31, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

11:00 pm
there is no way obama can lose, no way, and tonight we're going to prove it, we really are. >> the white house dropping a political bomb shell. >> this is the right time to do it. >> president obama brings the fight for jobs directly to congress. >> asking speaker boehner, senate majority leader harry reid, for time to address a joint session of congress. >> that's exactly when the republican debate is scheduled to air on this network. >> the nbc news politico debate. >> at practically the same time. >> we picked a pretty good time to have a debate, what do you think? >> no doubt. >> john boehner, speaker of the house, can reject this request. >> republicans attack not just what the president wants to say but where and when he wants to
11:01 pm
say it. >> tries to rain on the republicans parade. >> the venue is appropriate because the actions that need to be taken. >> you are obviously trying to disrupt the plans at the reagan library. >> we are at a moment when we need to take significant action. >> boehner should say, mr. president, i'm not going to assist you in your political games. >> we're getting bits and pieces about what might be in that plan. >> the president is considering a number of proposals. >> it's going to be more aggressive. >> the president's base is calling for additional spending. >> the president is still working to help victims of hurricane irene. >> the water is still rising in some places. >> the passaic river is supposed to run under the bridges, today, in some cases, it's running through those bridges. >> those moneys are not unlimited. >> be very careful, politicians, playing politics with fema. >> and an oracle is already predicting an obama victory. >> this is a campaign. >> we had sarah palin explode in the fall. >> step aside, mitt, there's a
11:02 pm
new frontrunner in town. >> i spent most of my life outside politics. >> a texas-sized swagger. >> he compared gay people to alcoholics. >> rick perry's attack on gay scout masters. >> rick perry is bush without the charm. >> he's been employed by the government for a quarter century. good evening, we have breaking news in washington, white house staff and speaker boehner's staff are meeting to head off an unprecedented public conflict between the president and the speaker of the house of representatives. it began today when the president surprised republican speaker john boehner with this sentence in a letter hand delivered to the speaker. "i respectfully request the opportunity to address a joint session of congress on september 7, 2011, at 8:00 p.m." the president's letter told baner "it is my intention to lay out a series of proposals that the congress can take
11:03 pm
immediately to rebuild the american economy by strengthening small businesses, helping americans get back to work, and putting more money in the paychecks of the middle class and working americans while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order." the president made his letter public before boehner could even respond. boehner's response came in a letter to the president hours later. "i respectfully invite you to address a joint session of congress on thursday, september 8, 2011, in the house chamber at a time that works best for your schedule. john boehner doesn't mention it in his letter, but the real reason he doesn't want the president to speak next wednesday at 8:00 p.m., as the president requested, is that a republican presidential candidates debate is scheduled for exactly the same time. that debate, which will be
11:04 pm
sponsored by politico and nbc news, will be the first to include the new republican frontrunner, texas governor rick perry. technically, the president cannot address a joint session of congress whenever he feels like it. joint sessions may not even meet unless both chambers agree to a concurrent resolution and invite the president to speak. normally, a selection of the date and the time for a presidential address to a joint session is done privately and it includes back and forth of this sort. wednesday's good for us, what's good for you? how about thursday, we can't do thursday, and so on and so on. a historian for the house of representatives tells nbc news because the scheduling discussions are normally secret, a public rejection of a president's request for a joint session is essentially unprecedented. speaker boehner's spokesman,
11:05 pm
brendan buck, just released a statement reading "no one in the speaker's office, not the speaker, not any staff, signed off on the date the white house announced today. unfortunately, we weren't even asked if that date worked for the house. shortly before it arrived this morning, we were simply informed that a letter was coming." earlier today, white house press secretary jay carney said the president was not deliberately trying to overshadow the republican candidates' debate. >> it is coincidental. the president committed to speaking next week after the labor day holiday, and immediately upon congress' return, and there are a lot of factors that go into scheduling a speech before congress, a joint session speech, and again, you can never find a perfect time. >> the chairman of the
11:06 pm
republican national committee did not see it the same way. yes, his real first name is reinhold tweeted, "the request to give jobs speech the same night at gop presidential debate is further proof this white house is politics all the time." he took the advice rush limbaugh gave him earlier today. >> this is intended to disrupt the republican debate. it's intended to make obama look bigger than the republicans, to look bigger than politics, and this is part of the presidential election campaign, and the house republicans are going to have to realize they are part of it. somebody in the intelligence, somebody smarter than we, somebody is going to write a piece or post a blog and say mr. boehner, mr. boehner, you are going to send the independents running right back to obama if
11:07 pm
you don't grant him the speech, because all the american people care about right now is jobs, they don't care about the reagan library or republican presidential debate, they care about jobs. if you tell the president he can't come up on the day he wants, you're going to send independents off. that's how they are going to try to intimidate boehner. boehner should say, mr. president, i'm not going to assist you in your political games. >> joining me now, the co-author of "game change," national affairs editor for new york magazine and author of "revival, struggle for survival" richard wolffe, thank you both for joining me tonight. richard, is this the night i have to begin this program by saying rush limbaugh is right, the president was trying to upstage the republican debate. is there any real working theory to the contrary? >> no, you don't have to say that rush limbaugh is right. this is, obviously, a campaign season, and the next day with
11:08 pm
the football game, and who really cares anyway? you can schedule both on the same day, doesn't have to be the same time. what's curious about this is not just the back and the forth, i think people who don't tune into politics will think they are a bunch of squabbling school kids. the interesting question is what is it about the president that ripped away the respect of the president. why do the republicans think this president is unpresidential and shouldn't dare request this thing. it could be the economic times, could be he won so big in 2008, or could be, let's face it, the color of his skin. this is an extraordinary reaction to a normal sequence of events when the economy is in trouble and we're entering a political season. >> how would democrats react if we had a republican incumbent president if he announced the
11:09 pm
reelection campaign and the campaign was underway and being funded, as this one is, and he wanted to give a speech, which would be easily seen as both a campaign speech and a governing speech, and wanted to do so at exactly the same time that the democrats would have been meeting to have a presidential primary debate in which presumably those democrats would be given a primetime opportunity to be criticizing that republican president. how would democrats have reacted if we just reversed this whole thing? >> well, i think democrats, lawrence, would probably have rolled over and granted the republican president the night, but not out of respect for the office but just because they don't play politics with the same kind of relentless hardball attitude that a lot of the republicans have played politics against president obama so far in the first two and a half years of his time in office. i think the one point i'd take
11:10 pm
exception to what richard said, the white house also deviated from the normal course of events here, as you pointed out, lawrence, normally the white house would have gone to republicans quietly beforehand. it was -- rush limbaugh was right in one respect, the white house was playing politics, clearing intending to upstage the republican debate, thought it was doing something tough politically, thought boehner would fold and is in the middle of this fight. the main point i see here is if this is the kind of fight we're having, this childish squabbling over this speech, does anybody really think there's a chance that there's going to be any way for these two parties to come together and pass any legislation that will actually help the economy come out of this speech, i think not. >> we'll be checking with msnbc standards during the break to see if we can call it that kind of match, but the rest of the time we won't. richard, this is -- i think i
11:11 pm
want to go to john's point about the white house's first move here, sending the letter up without the consultation and normal process. >> as i understand it, that is in serious dispute here. these two accounts do not stack up. white house officials say there was actual notice paid, they were notified. whether or not they raised objections to it privately before raising their objections to it publicly is also a matter of dispute. and again to john's point, if they cannot agree on this, then they all look bad. this is small ball politics for both sides, but let's pretend this letter was sprung on these people, there's a dispute over what the reaction was when they were first informed, but the letter was not how this thing broke between the two parties. they should have made it clear beforehand. the fact they cannot make it clear isn't just about democrats playing softball politics than republicans, democrats hated
11:12 pm
president bush, they loathed everything he stood for, particularly in the second term, yet they still respected the presidency when it came to these ceremonious moments. this isn't happening with this president and with this republican party, and there's a basic question why not. >> john, i got to think that the white house saw it as a win either way. either boehner says yes and we semi-humiliate him with the rush limbaugh crowd and the president gets to completely upstage the republican debate, or boehner says no, in what becomes this unprecedented public response to the president wanting to do a joint session request and the white house wins again because the unreasonable republican once again looks like an unreasonable republican. >> we've seen over the course of the obama first term, but especially since the midterms where the white house sought to elevate president obama and make him look like the reasonable, responsible, adult in the room.
11:13 pm
they could portray boehner's response as petulant and childish. he's representing a feeling among people in the democratic base that are very upset. if you listen to what people are saying right now, this notion president obama has been dissed is out there and the white house would capitalize that he is being disrespected in some unprecedented way, they gain politically on that too. not just those in the middle who want politicians to be above this petty squabbling, but also loyalists who think republicans don't have respect for the office as long as obama holds it. >> it's being reported to us the white house aides and boehner aides are meeting right now, trying to come to agreement on the time and date. how will this turn out, and will there be a winner and a loser on
11:14 pm
the scheduling fight? >> i seriously doubt the white house wanted to have a dispute about the debate or have john boehner on the spot. they were quite happen to have a split screen and have republican candidates respond in the moment to what he will be trying to say. the white house is not going to be coming out of this great because the president does not want to have this dispute. they'll find a compromise on another day or another time and the left is going to say the president caved again. i don't think this is going to be a winner for him. in terms of the scheduling dispute. >> john heilemann, is there a way for anyone to win the scheduling -- the fight about scheduling a speech? >> i think in the narrow sense, there are ways in which the white house will try to capitalize, but i do agree with richard, most americans who don't watch cable television and
11:15 pm
read the twitter sphere will look at this and say i can't believe with 9.5% unemployment and 15% real unemployment these people can't get it together to schedule a speech and agree on something that basic and pedestrian. >> richard wolffe and john heilemann, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, we fast forward to election night november 6, 2012. tonight the last word officially projects president obama will win reelection 433 days from now. and later, frank rich on our country ten years after september 11. why instead of being a united country we've ended up with what he calls a busted one. just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health.
11:16 pm
have i got a surprise for you! yeah, it's newad me [ barks beneful healthy fiesta. gotta love the protein for muscles-- whoo-hoo! and omega-rich nutrition for that shiny coat. ever think healthy could taste so good? [ woman announcing ] new beneful healthy fiesta.
11:17 pm
coming up, why one historian says president obama is definitely going to win reelection, it's called the 13 keys to the white house and it has predicted every presidential election since 1984. and later, the new york woman
11:18 pm
who took to the twitter, took the twitter to poke fun at mayor bloomberg's spanish during his announcements about the hurricane. she is now in the middle of her 15 minutes of fame. she will make her national television debut later. [ male announcer ] these are volunteers... our neighbors putting their lives on the line. and when they rely on a battery, there are firefighters everywhere who trust duracell. so, look for these special packs to see how you can help your local volunteers. duracell. trusted everywhere. [ male announcer ] it's been a good year for the chevy silverado. and not because of the awards or the accolades. no, it was good because you told us so.
11:19 pm
the chevy model year wrap up. get in on our greatest model year yet. just announced -- celebrate labor day with an additional $500 bonus cash. with all other offers, including the all-star edition discount, that's a total value of $6,500. ♪ our greatest model year yet is wrapping up. a new poll shows republican presidential candidate mitt romney gaining ground on president obama, up four points from their last poll, romney now ties the president in a head-to-head 2012 matchup with 45%, but when pitted against
11:20 pm
rick perry, president obama wins 45% to 42%. that's within a margin of error, of course. when asked if president obama deserves to be reelected, 51% said no, only 42% said yes, he deserves to be reelected. those are very intimidating numbers to the obama reelection campaign, but our next guest can see right through them. he has an election formula that has correctly predicted every presidential election since ronald reagan's reelection in 1984. joining me now, american university professor allan lichtman, author of "the keys to the white house, a sure fire guide to predicting the next president." allan, thank you very much for joining me tonight, and i just cannot thank you enough for relieving me of this burden of reading every one of these polls between now and next year and checking the margin of error and the size of the sample.
11:21 pm
you know, we study those polls to try to figure out what's going to happen next. you're telling me it's all over. >> that's right. look, you might as well read the entrails of birds as read these early polls. they predict absolutely nothing, and in fact, are more often wrong than right. i developed a system that doesn't require projection from unreliable polls but rather is based upon how presidential elections really work, and that is the electorates are a lot smarter than given credit. we have a very pragmatic american electorate which decides presidential elections according to the performance of the party holding the white house, and the 13 keys to the white house gauge the strength and performance of the incumbent party, and it's real simple.
11:22 pm
you don't have to take your shoes off to use the keys. out of the 13 keys, if six or more go against the party holding the white house, they lose, and as you said, that system has predicted the last seven elections in a row. if there are fewer than six keys out against the party in power, they win. >> and so according to your research so far, the obama administration, as i read your piece, they have won nine of these keys and they are losing on four of these keys, but do all these keys weigh the same in your evaluation and what are the key keys that obama is winning in so that you can guarantee his reelection? >> all the keys weigh equally, and there's a reason for that, because ahead of time, before an election, you can't know which key might count for more or
11:23 pm
which key might count for less. moreover, if a key has a major impact, it has within the system a trigger effect on other keys. now, the pundits who think obama is in trouble are basing that, of course, on the economy, and let's presume he loses the two economic keys in the system, that's only two out of 13. he loses what we call the mandate key because he lost in the midterm elections, but look at all the things he has going for him, he had a foreign policy triumph in the killing of osama bin laden. he hasn't had a major foreign policy disaster like losing the vietnam war. he's the sitting president, he's going to be unchallenged within his own party, there's going to be no third party campaign. the administration is free of scandal. he has major policy change on which to run, even if it's controversial, and there's no social unrest roiling the country, and finally, he faces a weak field of republican challengers, so when you put it
11:24 pm
all together, things look really good for obama's reelection, so forget the polls, forget the pundits, look at the keys which tell you how elections really work and have a track record. >> so when you hear people say it's all about the economy and you don't have to look at anything other than the unemployment rate and some economic data, you're saying no, no, no, look at things like is there scandal in the administration, how strong is the challenging field, all those things you just listed. >> exactly, the economy is important, but the electorate is not that narrow, the electorate is smart. look at 1968, if you look at the economy only, the democrats should have a landslide victory, except, of course, you had the disaster in vietnam, the division in the parties, and social unrest. ronald reagan won 49 states, unemployment was still well over 7%, so those folks who say it's the unemployment rate would have missed 1984. in fact, the straight economic models, while generally correct, miss a number of recent elections and cannot be relied
11:25 pm
on because they are too narrow and don't understand how smart the american people really are. >> all right, that's it. we're done. we're done for the night. i don't even have to finish the show. american university professor allan lichtman, thank you very much for joining me tonight and releasing burden on the polls. >> thank you, lawrence. remember, this is non-partisan, i predicted bush in 2004. >> that's why you're here, it's the truth. >> take care. coming up, what's happened to america in the ten years since september 11? frank rich joins me. and later, you now live in a country where corporations pay their ceos more than the corporations pay in federal taxes. ♪
11:26 pm
♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the most headroom per dollar of any car in america. the all-new nissan versa sedan from $10,990. innovation upsized. innovation for all. from $10,990. navigating today's real estate market is complicated. you've seen the signs. that's why having the right real estate agent is more important than ever. at, you can find experts in short sales
11:27 pm
or bank-owned properties or commercial real estate, agents who can help speed up the process, no matter how intricate. and that's good news, whether you're trying to sell or hoping to buy. because the only sign you really want to see is "sold." nobody sells more real estate than re/max. visit today.
11:28 pm
11:29 pm
the national climatic data center is the nation's scorekeeper of severe weather events, it's still tallying from hurricane irene and says it is certain the storm will rank as the tenth billion dollar weather event of just this year. the president will travel to new jersey on sunday to inspect the damage. this will give republican governor chris christie a special opportunity to build his credentials within the republican party by telling the president he don't need no damn help from the federal government, or by at least
11:30 pm
embracing the eric cantor principle that whatever disaster help new jersey gets from the federal government should come from cuts in other federal funding that goes to new jersey. much of the damage in new jersey, now, is from flooding. many towns are still under water. nbc's ann thompson is there. >> paterson, new jersey, woke up to rapids in its streets, the passaic river out of its banks and out of control. over 24 feet swamping nearby wallington. >> we can't get to our home. >> the family among the 1,000 residents forced to evacuate, their town now engulfed in water and despair. >> i don't know where to begin. we lost everything. >> it is only from 1,000 feet above that you can see the true scope of this disaster. new jersey recorded its wettest august in history. you add another 11 to 12 inches
11:31 pm
of rain that irene brought, and it was just too much. >> the damage in new york alone will approach $1 billion. homeland security secretary janet napolitano pledged federal aid. >> we'll be helping you with this recovery. >> no one is going home. they are trading a cot here for 2001 in paterson. nomads in their own home. >> i want to cry, but i can't cry. so i got to keep strong for my kids. >> clinging to the few things they have left, including hope. ann thompson, nbc news, paterson, new jersey. >> this is vermont, baby, no man left behind. >> contractor kurt marshall dropped his business duties today to lend a hand to neighbors.
11:32 pm
though the rapids still run through her property, her driveway washed away to rubble, marshall started pumping water out of her basement. >> it's a great sound to hear it pumping out. >> in woodstock, road repairs are underway. patched up enough in places to free people trapped in damage left by torrential rains here that ripped open large parts of pavement. >> i think we have two roads in the whole district that are passable, both lanes, without any damage. >> i used to live in florida and been through three hurricanes, i've never seen anything like this in my life. >> relief supplies were delivered by helicopter, food, water, other emergency aid for people trapped tonight. access was reopened to all but one community. recovery and reconstruction efforts will take time across this flood-ravaged state.
11:33 pm
residents say they are heartened by how quickly everyone came to help. >> it's been an amazing community effort. >> while the financial loss is unknown, the family already knows its loss, the deaths of hundreds of birds and no flood insurance will be tough to overcome. >> this is my income, and we've lost the farm. >> it is hard to believe that a small babbling brook no deeper than a few inches tonight can cause all of this damage, but sunday it roared and swelled to a size large enough to take down part of a base lodge at the ski resort. power remains the big issue tonight, 12,000 still in the dark here in vermont, more than 807,000 up and down the east coast. that's the latest here in killington, vermont, back to you. still ahead, new york mayor michael bloomberg gave some of his hurricane warnings in imperfect spanish, which led to the twitter sensation el bloombito. that's coming up. and next, frank rich joins me.
11:34 pm
every time a local business opens its doors
11:35 pm
or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business -- it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion. got the mirrors all adjusted? you can see everything ok?
11:36 pm
just stay off the freeways, all right? i don't want you going out on those yet. and leave your phone in your purse, i don't want you texting. >> daddy... ok! ok, here you go. be careful. >> thanks dad. >> and call me--but not while you're driving. we knew this day was coming. that's why we bought a subaru.
11:37 pm
in tonight's spotlight, the hard realities about the tenth anniversary of the september 11 attacks. the day that some believed would unify the nation going forward has done no such thing. frank rich, in a piece for "new york magazine" asked the questions, if the terrorists lost, who won? he writes, "the connection between the 10-year-old war in afghanistan and our civil war may well prove the most consequential historic fact of the hideous decade they bracket, the burial grounds were supposed to bequeath us. may not have been 9/11 or the iraq war, but the looting of the american economy by those in power in washington and on wall street." joining me now, frank rich, writer at large for "new york magazine."
11:38 pm
frank, thanks for joining me tonight. >> nice to be with you. >> you mention in your piece something i have forgotten in the flow of history, that the enron scandal broke about a month after 9/11, and it seems we actually had at least as big a lesson in the enron scandal about what was to come in this decade than what had happened on 9/11. >> if you go back, indeed, and look at the enron scandal, it had all the features of the sub prime crisis that would come and the housing bubble, phoney bookkeeping, worthless paper, and it was very embarrassing to president bush at the time because of his long association with enron as a political donor,
11:39 pm
and he promised a lot of the cleanup of wall street that we've heard about in recent years, and none of it happened. he was going to have a s.w.a.t. team go against wall street crime. as soon as it faded from the headlines, nothing happened. we know what did happen, basically, wall street and the banks and mortgage lenders and all the rest were given the green light to go ahead with impunity during wartime. >> you talk about how 9/11 was used, kind of pulled off the shelf in certain situations politically and in governing, in the instance, for example, helping to justify the invasion of iraq, but much of the piece is about what's happened to the economy, what's happened to the politics of the economy. you make a point here about taxation when you say if we don't need new taxes to fight two wars, why do we need them for anything.
11:40 pm
that, as much as anything else, informs where our tax debate has gone. >> exactly. i think in the end, the most crucial decision that bush made right after 9/11, and he said it explicitly by the end of september at that year, was we don't want the american people to sacrifice. maybe longer lines at airport check-in, but that was that. go to disney land, go shopping, and there be no taxes to pay for what would turn out to be two wars. i think that injected a cancer into the american political culture just as you were saying. if we don't pay for wars, why do we have to pay for anything, and i think you see the seeds now of this anti-government movement that's in some ways paralyzing the country. >> and the not paying for anything bush style could not go on forever. you mention that he delivered this very large medicare
11:41 pm
prescription drug benefit completely unpaid for, large and expensive new benefit, but you also say it is that america where rampage and greed usurp the common good in wartime, the country crashed just as bush fled the white house that we live in today. it did crash by the time bush had left the white house, the whole scheme of doing things without paying for them, that has been visited entirely on president obama as a burden. has there been any better way for him to have managed that burden, given the republican resistance of the last couple of years? >> there probably has been. for instance, i wish, as i think many do, that he had talked about jobs and the connection between the loss of jobs and this whole crisis and what happened to wall street much earlier and more concretely than he is by this late date, giving this speech, the starting time
11:42 pm
of which is so contended, next week. but republicans were out to destroy him. as we know, mitch mcconnell said their main goal is to keep obama from being reelected. but this comes, again, out of the post-9/11 lapse in this country. this country was ready to sacrifice. bush had approval rating that was almost perfect. people after that very contentious 2000 election were willing to give him another chance and unite behind him, instead, everyone went their separate ways and here we are. >> it's hard to say what's most surprising about the aftermath of 9/11, but in your piece the thing that most jumped out is the turn of events where we saw some legislation pending that was to help the first responders to 9/11 who developed health issues after being in that rubble and breathing in that dust and the dangerous elements that were in the air down there. that was being blocked by republicans in congress, and you write, "the most vocal champions
11:43 pm
of the surviving 9/11 victims and their families were new york officials and celebrities like jon stewart, most of them liberal democrats, the righteous anger of the right had moved on to the cause of taking down a president with the middle name "hussein." who would have predicted it would have fallen to jon stewart to be the champion of those victims? >> it's amazing, particularly since you had a republican party epitomized by people like rudy giuliani who were 9/11, as biden said, they were all guarding this horrible tragedy and, you know, enforcing a kind of political correctness, and we get to a point not that many years later where you have tom coburn, a conservative republican, leading the charge to keep the federal government from helping first responders and their families from 9/11. that's an enormous seat change,
11:44 pm
matched, by the way, the new isolationism in the republican party. that's the other big change. the mccain, lindsey graham view, the bush view, the bush-cheney view, is now also not the mainstream of the gop anymore. it's going back to its isolation as pre-9/11 mindset, as they would say. >> it is a compelling and grim piece. frank rich, writer at large for "new york magazine," thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> delighted to be with you. coming up, how corporations pay their ceos more, more than they actually pay in federal taxes. that gets tonight's rewrite. and later, mayor michael bloomberg's hurricane briefings in spanish provoked what has been called the best thing about hurricane irene, the tweets of el bloombito. [ ticking ]
11:45 pm
[ grunts ] we are! got it. [ male announcer ] don't be the last to know. get it faster with 4g. it's the network of possibilities. at&t.
11:46 pm
when you switch your car insurance to esurance. i could save 'em 522 smackers. you talkin' dough? bread. benjamins? scratch. greenbacks. moolah. cheddar... simoleons! don't try to out-save me. [ female announcer ] any way you say it, $522 is the average amount saved by people who switched to esurance. 522 bucks! [ female announcer ] to find out how much you'll save, call 1-800-esurance or visit right now. that's 1-800-esurance or go to
11:47 pm
politicians should be commended, not ridiculed for speaking spanish and english at press conferences, but some spanglish tweets have turned into an internet sensation after michael bloomberg's press conferences on hurricane briefings. and next, how can republicans argue that corporations need tax cuts when some ceos are actually being paid more by their corporations than those corporations pay in federal taxes. that's in the rewrite.
11:48 pm
11:49 pm
time for tonight's rewrite. corporate america has now so successfully rewritten the tax code in their favor that in many of our biggest companies, ceos are now paid more money than the companies pay in federal taxes. a new study out today by the institute of policy studies shows that of the 100 highest-paid ceos in america, 25 of those highest-paid ceos took home more money last year than their company paid in federal taxes. the 25 ceos averaged, they averaged, $16.7 million while their companies not only paid no taxes, no federal taxes, they actually ended up collecting tax refunds averaging $304 million. ford paid no federal taxes last year and paid its ceo $26
11:50 pm
million. verizon paid no federal taxes last year and paid its ceo $18 million. prudential paid no federal taxes and paid its ceo $16 million. ge paid no federal taxes last year and paid its ceo $15 million. e-bay paid no federal taxes last year and paid its ceo $12 million. how did the tax code get so rigged in support of corporate greed? most of these companies also spent more on lobbying, more on lobbying, than they paid in corporate taxes. most of them gave more to political campaigns than they paid in corporate taxes. now, these companies are free to relocate to any other country in the world if they find american
11:51 pm
corporate taxation so onerous. remember that, nothing prevents them from relocating. republicans are relentlessly pushing the lie that this country is overtaxed, that corporations in this country are overtaxed. their plans for economic recovery all include reducing, reducing the supposedly horribly burdensome tax on corporate america. at the republican presidential candidates debates, someone has got to ask them, how far below zero should corporate taxation go? during hurricane weekend,
11:52 pm
11:53 pm
11:54 pm
11:55 pm
during hurricane weekend, new york's mayor michael bloomberg gave clear, detailed, reassuring instructions to new yorkers. >> let me summarize very briefly in spanish. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> the city's spanish-speaking residents were as well-informed by the mayor as the english-only community was, but some in the spanish-speaking community were also amused.
11:56 pm
a twitter account suddenly popped up called el bloombito and delivered mayoral-sounding reports. like -- [ speaking in a foreign language ] and -- [ speaking in a foreign language ] el bloombito picked up followers very quickly and the new york observer called el bloombito the best thing about hurricane irene. here's mayor bloomberg on monday thanking new york city firefighters.
11:57 pm
[ speaking in spanish ] >> and now for the actual spanish version of what the mayor was trying to say, we turn to "the last word's" anthony reyes. [ speaking spanish ] >> okay, that's the first time that i've seen the anthony tape. i could watch that all night. this morning, "the new york times" revealed to the world the identity of el bloombito. she is rachel figueroa-levin, and she joins me now by phone. rachel, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you for having me, i'm kind of excited. i'm a huge fan of your show. >> oh, great.
11:58 pm
now, rachel, you are in the middle, or what happens just the beginning of your 15 minutes of fame, and i understand it's been so disorienting to you that you're staying in an undisclosed location and dealing with us in the media just by phone. >> yes. >> so great things have happened. you've got agents reaching out to you saying, you know, is there a book here, kind of amazing stuff has happened, right? >> yeah, i really can't believe, you know, this is happening. i never expected this. you know, this is really just a joke for my friends on twitter. >> and i saw the picture of you and your baby in "the new york times" today, as soon as i saw the story i said can we possibly get rachel on the show. you're holding your baby in one hand, tweeting the other. you picked up a bunch of followers, including the mayor of new york, correct, mike
11:59 pm
bloomberg is following you now? >> for a brief time period he was. i don't think he is anymore. >> we are here to commend the mayor, aren't we, you and i, because actually i love his spanish, his spanish is my spanish after taking spanish courses in college, he's about -- my best spanish is about half as good as bloomberg's spanish, so i applaud him. he started doing this a couple of years ago, he went public with his spanish after deciding to study it as mayor, and did you find it was helpful, have you found people tell you it's lpful him giving these announcements in spanish? >> some people have said it's helpful. i think it's helpful, i'm happy he's reaching out to the hispanic community and trying to speak spanish, i was just poking a little fun. >> what advice would you have to politicians making their way


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on